Friday, March 31, 2006

More common ground between us Christians and our Muslim brothers and sisters

There is a "book of Maryam" (which is perhaps closer to the proper pronounciation of her Aramaic name), in the Holy Koran, and the passage known as Sura 3, "The Amramites (Ali-'Imran)" tells a tale very like Luke 1:26-35

The angel said: "O Maryam, surely Allah gives you good news; a message from Him of one whose name is the Messiah, Isa [Jesus], son of Maryam, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near to Allah.
He shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and he shall be one of the holy ones."

Maryam said: "My Lord! How shall a son be born to I me, since man has not touched me?" The angel replied: "Nevertheless, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, 'Be," and it is.

And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and all the Scriptures.

And make him an apostle to the children of Israel"

Thursday, March 30, 2006


So according to Einstein, back when he was a lusty youth, evil is the absense of God the same as darkness is the absense of light. Evil is not a thing anymore than darkness is a thing. It is the absense of a thing.

Okay Einstein, if you are correct in your suposition that evil is the absense of God, then it follows that there are locatioins in the universe where God is absent. And if there are places where God is absent then there are limits to God. And if there are limits of any kind to God then he is not omnipotent.

Lets look at the term Omnipotens Deus. All Powerful God. Okay that litterally means there are no limits to his power. He is capable of anything. There is nothing God cannot do. If this is so then evil is something God can do since to limit him to only good is to limit his power. Can you, as Einstein, solve this problem? You haven't thought far enough down the equation. If God is simply all pwoerful, with no limits placed upon him, then adoration of him becomes less wholesome. Since to adore something that is as ready to do you evil as good is a pretty sad state of affairs for you.

For now let us assume God is all powerful. So all aspects of the universe, including all the evil in it, are property of God and subject to, or more properly manifestations of, his divine will. Where does that leave a being like a devil? Well it leaves them nowhere. There is no point to having a devil since all the evil in the universe, like all the good, is a manifestation of the will of God. Why would God need another being to help him out with evil? Indeed why would God need anyhelp from anything for any reason? Why help build his kingdom on earth? Can't the omnipotent God do that for himself?

If God is wanting a creation unspoiled and perfect then why not, like nike says, just do it? Why all the cerimonial mumbo jumbo? Why priests and churches and doctrines of the faith? Why have all this messy confusion about what God wants? It seems to me that if God wished creation that is different than the one we call home then he would have made it different. He would not be waiting for us to figure it out, or have us wait for him to let us make a mess of things then come in and break up the fight.

I believe that we live in the perfect universe. A universe where nothing is either created nor destroyed. A universe that is neither good or evil, where there is no place for evil or good to exist. A place where all action causes equal and opposing reaction. A universe where certain actions are deemed evil and certain actions are deemed good by certain speices at certain times because the actions lead to the propegation of the spieces. Trust, justice, equal treatment, kindness, charity, etc. are all benificial to a cohesive society. Genicide, murder, theft, lying, etc are all damaging to a cohesive society.

Clearly there are laws that we have uncovered that govern all the actions in the universe. It is only a mater of time before all of them are laid out for us to understand. So getting back to the nature of God. By removing the aspect of good and evil there is also removed a stumbling block for the acceptance of an omnipotent God. God is all powerful. And the universe is perfect. There is no need for intervention in such a perfect universe even by a perfect God. We too are perfect. Our perfection will continue to evolve, in a million years our perfection will be different than it is now. But it will be no less perfect or more perfect than it is right now.

I know lots of people will talk about all the evil that seems pointless and done for only evil's sake. However that is meledramatic. All evil is done for reasons beyond simply acting evil. Even if it is done by those who think they are doing it to act evil, since they too are simply part of creation and reacting to actions upon them etc. This is also true for good.

How about God adjusting his creation? If it is perfect then God would not need to adjust it. Remember that we are part of the creation so if he has to come down and adjust things after seeing a problem arising then he has not created a perfect thing. Can a perfect being create an imperfect thing? Yes. To say no would place a limit on his power. There is nothing he cannot do. So he can create an imperfect universe. But this leads to probelms as mentioned above.

Does calling on God make a difference in a perfect universe? The answer, puzzeling though it is to me, is yes. The perfect creation can call on the perfect being to act upon the perfect creation to make a change. This is not creating a more perfect creation, it is not fixing something. There is nothing to fix in the perfect creation. There is only a change desired and done by God if he so chooses and he can choose to act or not as he wishes.

The perspective on perfection is Gods alone. We in it can either accept the perfection or deny it and even if we do this it is only because we have come into actions and interactions that cause us to deny it, or accept it. All our actions within the perfect creation are perfectly atuned to the it at all times. Even when we percieve ourselves to fail. This should lead us all to complete humility since there is no triumph that is ours nor any tragedy. We have complete freedom within the perameters of, by Gods definition, the perfect creation.

Augustine says, Not because they are, does God know all creatures spiritual and temporal, but because he knows them, therefore they are.

The Rumsfeld Doctrine according to Thomas Freedman

"Just enough troops to lose."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The da Vinci Code review...

An exciting book. But nothing to write home about. What bugs me about this book is that it is so filled with cliches. I guess for people who are totally ignorant of history it may seem spell-binding. For me it is the Forrest Gump of religious thrillers. The signs of the Holy Grail are litterally everywhere. I was eating a pizza and realized that the pie was round and cut into sentions with five cuts, signifying the "sacred feminine" a term used adnauseum in the book. The second thing that really bugged me about this book is the cliche' use of the Catholic Church. Is there no other sect of Christianity that an author of fiction can use? Also the rediculous, and again totally cliche, bit about how women had to be demonized by the church. Crapola! Has mr. Brown ever heard of the cult of the virgin? Of all the saints to be venerated from the early times until today there is no saint so venerated in Catholicism as Saint Mary. So much so that almost every grand gothic cathedral built in Europe is dedicated to Our Lady (Notre Dame) each adorned with the Rose Window. These grand multimedia extravaganzas were not only venerating Mary but also the seats of Church power for over a thousands years. Hardly banishing women, or the "sacred feminine" to hell.

The author writes in a way and uses "facts" or "informatioin" in much the same way conspiracy freaks use information in the Kennedy Assasination. I am surprised that the author did not try to implicate Oswald in the Grail myth. Like the movie JFK it feeds the white-noise machine of psudo-history, mythmaking, while telling an admittedly great story. I have no problem with the story itself. I love a good mystery told well. However I feel that the melding of fact, fiction, and suposition based on dubius facts or plain whole-cloth begs for a forward by the author explaining that the work is one of fiction.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

So long Cap!

Good by to Casper Weinburger. We got to ride on a plane with him for a while back in the late 80's. He was a really tiny guy. The conservatives are saying of him, like all the other dead Reganites, how he won the cold war. Again I never saw him in the Streets of Moscow the day the Parliment surendered to the people. But then again he was really tiny and he might have been there.

Monday, March 27, 2006

October 1942

"In October 1942, ten months after entering World War II, America was preparing its first assault against Nazi military forces. Prescott Bush was managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman. His 18-year-old son George, the future U.S. President, had just begun training to become a naval pilot. On Oct. 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City which were being conducted by Prescott Bush."

A no win situation or a New World of hope

The BIG problem with Iraq is thqt it presents a no win situation for us. The attack on the 25th that left loads dead in Sadre city is anothe example of the no-victory scenario. It makes no difference whether the site attacked was an insurgent stronghold or not. The perception is that of the US attacking a mosque and killing men praying. This is only the latest example of how our very presense in Iraq is the problem. There is no solution grand enough for us to look like anything other than the problem. We have enmeshed oursleves in such a complicated problem that we may be unable to simply walk away. This situation is actually worse than Vietnam in that in Vietnam there was, since 1945, an ongoing civil war not of our making. We went in to try and save the nationalist south but we were not the instigators of the mess. So we could, with some justification, claim that we tried our best but the Vietnamese simply had to fight "Their War" themselves.

Iraq is totally different. There was no war in Iraq before we went in there. We started this madness. We instigated it. And so there is far more pressure on us to solve it. I fear we are stuck there no matter what. Bush and his subordinates need to be imprisoned for this huge mistake.


Not to take away from the demonstratable failure that is US~Iraq policy but there is another way of looking at this situation. As an American it might not be a happy way of looking at the situation but it may be, in the long run, a breakthrough in world affairs.

Since the fall of the Nazi's the world has been really a one-power world. Despite the belicose rumblings of the now-defunct USSR, for the past 60 years the world has pretty much been run by the USA. Its economy has been the engine that powered the entire world vehicle. Its agenda was, for good or bad, the worlds agenda, either in walking in lock step with America like NATO, or in constantly having to react to it like the USSR. Either way America was the mover and shaker of the world.

Iraq is proving to be a defining moment for the USA. It has taken the spotlight but unlike the first gulf-war what the world has been shown is a super-power that is not really so super. The last 6 years have shown America to be just another nation. Capable of doing good and bad. Capable of suffering like the rest of the world. Now before all the red-blooded America lovers get all PO'd I want to say that this is not a bad position to be in.

In the 1980's America got the hell kicked out of it by Japan in the form of manufacturing, technology, and business organization. This did not lead to the destruction of the USA. It led to the the boom of the 1990's in America and the bust of the 1990's in Japan. The Vietnam war, being totally lost by the mighty Americans, did not lead to the overthrough of the USA either. It lead to a series of breakthroughs with China and the USSR that made for a more stable and secure world. So having a super-power lowered back to the status of ordinary nation, something America will never really be, is not so bad. The checks on American power have been a benefit to America more than a hinderance.

Iraq shows that the world is a very complicated place where the desires of one nation, even a strong one like America, are never assured. We are in the process of being put back in our place. We do not like it but in the long run it will be better for the world and better for America.

Friday, March 24, 2006

We always get what we ask for

Why did Hamas do so well in the recent elections? They capitalised on rampent anti-Americanism along with the standard anit-Zionism. Our own actions in the region have so destroyed our image that even terrorist organization now have legitimate ability to actually win democratic elections. I was listening to NPR talk about how surprised everyone was at the Hamas victory. I do not think most people who studied the middle east were surprised. The Bush Administration was surprised. Their standard response to all their f'ups is to say how "nobody ever thought X could happen." X could be any one of a number of blunders. I couldn't really care less what they think, they are so lame.

I would say that we get what we ask for. How could anyone believe that a huge military adventure in Iraq create anything else? All the military adventures, while they are going on, are disasters for the regions inwhich they are taking place. There is no such thing as a good war. That is why all the millions of people at the end of WWII were cheering. They were cheering the fact that the war was over. In the war zone people were depressed, starved, and shell shocked. There were millions of soldiers encamped and the balance of power quickly shifted, over ten years, toward a east vs west nuclear stalemate. The forces at play enforced peace on both sides of the iron curtain.

Currently we have further destablized a region that was already unstable. Regional powers, other than Isreal, are week and ineffective. So the level of anarchy in disputed regions such as Gaza, the West Bank, or Iraq is high. In some ways it would be better to have a nuclear Iran. That would force Isreals hand to declare itself as an active nuclear state. It would create a dynamic that would remove US unilateralism in the region. It would not make Iran any more powerful than it is. But it would create a balance of power in a region that is like the wild west now. besides we have gone out of our way to ask for a nuclear Iran. I am amazed that we don't have it yet.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wolves in sheeps clothing

Okay all you hyper-Christians. How is your boy doing in the White House? lets look at Afgahnistan. There is a guy who may get the death penalty for converting from islam to Christianity. Does your boy jump to the guys defense? Only after lots of bitching from the Christian establishment. If no one bitched at Bush he'd have let the man get killed.

Understand that Bush and his administration DO NOT CARE ABOUT CHRIST. They only care enough to get you to vote for them. They have sold their souls to altogether darker powers. I am not talking about Satan either. They'd be Satan worshipers if they thought that would get them votes. Basically they only believe in the god MONEY. If you think they wouldn't sell Christ out for 30 pieces of silver, or a stock option, you are fooling yourself, or letting yourself be fooled by them.

So where does a Christian turn to? Well for starters Christians should not expect political parties to be anything more than political parties. They are of the City of the Earth, while followers of Christ are dwellers in the City of God. Asking political parties to act in accordance with Christ is like asking the mayor and city council of one city to be the mayor and city council of yours. They will spend all their time with their own city while ignoring you.

So where does a Christian turn? To CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!! There is no power on this earth worthy of helping God. Does God need help? If God needs help why worship Him? Why worship a god that needs the help of a man? We need His help but he does not need ours. So stop turning to Washington to forward Gods kingdom. Do you need to ask Satan to help God? Well when we seek answers for expansion of our faith in the halls of the city of the Earth we are doing just that.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Anniversary Iraqi Freedom

Happy birthday Iraqi Freedom.
Happy birthday to the 2317 families of those killed fighting on "our side"
Happy birthday to the 30,000+ families of those who were fighting on "the other side"
Happy birthday to the millions of refugees, the brutalised, the shell shocked, the depressed
Happy birthday to all the congressmen who never went to Iraq after sending others to fight and die
Happy birthday to Bush for spending 20 minutes in an Iraqi airport with a turkeyleg in his hand a couple years ago and not going to Iraq once since then (Texas Cowheard)
Happy birthday to all the pundits who lied to us and those that still lie to us.
Happy birthday to all the terrorists that flooded into Iraq after we flooded in.
Happy birthday to all the Americans still dumb enough to think that this war was justified.
And happy birthday to all the American taxpayers who willing spent 260 billion of their own dollars to topple one man and create anarchy. But don't ask them to spend money on national health.
Happy birthday to all the kids overthere that get to be blown up while going with them mom to the market or their father to prayer.
Happy brithday to all the saps and finks and fat-headed idiots who got us into this big stinking mess

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wayne Clark

Wayne Clark, business owner, entrepreneur, renaisance man, father of 5, grand father of 3, friend to many, and enemy to himself, died on Saturday. He fell to his death at the Grotto. I had the had the good fortune for working for him and the misfortune for working for him. Wayne was a madman and a very good person. He treated his employees as equals and never once raised his voice in anger to any of them. He was the most charismatic man I have ever known. I know this sound like I am simply trying to remember the good and forget the bad. There is probably some truth to that. However what made Wayne Clark a great leader, and superb thinker, and man of action, also set him on a course for potential ruin. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. He was addicted to meth and that addiction, destroyed his business, and took his life. Wayne had just turned 45 this month.

Wayne will be missed.

The 9 Trillion Dollar Man

In an effort to continue informing the United States citizenry as the true nature of Republican fiscal incompitence, the Senate, along party lines, raised the debt cieling by 781 billion to almost 9 trillion dollars. Distributed equally among all 300 million residents we all get a $30,000 bill to pay.

The Bush Administration is applauding this bold move. Without this move our country would begin to default on its current debt obligatioins. Basically it is taking Pay-Day loans to pay its bills. And since sooooo much of the world economy is tied into the worlds largest economy, everyone buys in to keep it afloat and keep their other investments afloat. What is good for the old USA is good for the world. But as markets in other regions mature and nations like India and China come on line as super powers, the leverage the US has had to strong arm its trading partners as the only game in town will decrease. And that might prove catastrophic for us.

To put this into context, and it is pretty hard to do with numbers like this, the US economy generates about 16 trillion dollars of economic activity each year. Yet thanks to Bush's tax cuts and giveaways our government is spedning 2 thousand million dollars a day more than it takes in. 2 billion a day in extra debt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Japan is the biggest creditor, at $668 billion. China, the second-biggest, recently increased its stake by $40 billion to $263 billion. " - source London Times

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How do you plan to win the war?

I listen to CentCom's head of strategic planning for the war on Terrorism give an interview to NPR's The World. First he said that Bin Laden et all were only one part of the war. To capture or illimanate them would not bring victory. Then he said there were 4 strategic objectives.

1: Get the terrorists

2: Get rid of their safe havens

3: Keep them on the run

4: Harts and Minds

He said that the enemy is extrimism. Then he clarified by saying Islamic Extremism. Then he further clarified saying that they all want to bring the world back to the 7th century, blah, blah, blah... He said we need to partner with our allies in the region (who Saudi Arabia and Pakistan?) and give them "resources" (guns and bombs) to help them fight the terrorists. Holy shit isn't that what we ended up doing in centeral America and South East Asia? Enough of this "fight our war ourselves" BS, lets get some programed dictators to do it for us. Oh boy that'll end the whole terrorim concept. Centeral America and Southeast Asia are bastions of law and liberty thanks to that concept. As a citizen of America I can at long last go to sleep, resting assured that the men in uniform will save the day.

And this guy is the head of what? CentCom's stragic planning for the war on terrorism?

I am sorry but we are so Fucked!

Democrats...we want to lose and we want to lose bad!

With the presidency of W in the toilet and a majority of Americans thinking that the Dems are better at war fighting and the economy where are the F'ing turd sandwiches (the Democrats) ? Dispite leaders like Feingold who seem to be willing to actually fight the lame-duck bushleague, many other non-leaders are simply limping along tryingnot to look liberal. They are fighting last years war. Screw that shit. My advice to the Democrats is: Get up you stupid bastards and fight! Or get out of the way.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Former Justice O"Connor speaks out agains t Republicans

Expert from an NPR report this morning:

In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, O’Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms. O’Connor began by conceding that courts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, as she put it “really, really angry.” But, she continued, if we don’t make them mad some of the time we probably aren’t doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, she said, is premised on the notion that we won’t be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts. The nation’s founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, said O’Connor, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don’t protect judicial independence, people do.

And then she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said O’Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress’ onetime only statute about Schiavo as it was written. Not, said O’Connor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O’Connor, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts.

It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn’t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn’t name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement, after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge’s home. O’Connor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms, recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges, stripping the courts of jurisdiction and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decisions that political leaders disagree with.

I, said O’Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O’Connor said we must be ever-vigilant against those who would strongarm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.

Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Battle at the Sink


King Henry V and his loyal knights banded together at the kitchen sink to fend off another assualt by the French. This time the french King Charles VI led his army against the English. But again Henry won the day. Posted by Picasa

Review of Flightplan and 40year old Virgin

Flight Plan

Before I review this movie I have to review the DVD case. For a living I do retouching and color correction of images. So I am an EXPERT in what is good and bad retouching. On the bad side are the Oprah covers where they have literally painted every pixel of the big O so that she looks illustrated rather than photographed. Most magazine covers blow chunks with crappy non-real images. But I digress. The DVD cover image for Flight plan has Jody Foster looking like she did on the Courtship of Eddy's Father. She does not even appear to be human. And I have never seen an iris of any eye that is 98% cyan, 30% Magenta and no yellow. In the movie she looks haggard, stressed out, and old. The DVD cover looks silly.

Anyway the movie is mildly interesting and Jody Foster is always good even in lame movies. I am not sure what it is about Foster, and other actors of her like, that can punch through the utter crap that they are staring in to give good performances. I guess it is because they know what they are doing. Anyhow this movie gets a big fat 5.

40 year old virgin:

A one trick pony that I litterally gave up on. Though it could be because his appartment and mine looked a little too similar (action figure wise) It had funny bits here and there but the yuck factor overshadowed everything else and so I give it a solid 3.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Who came to the west coast of the US by the thousands in the mid 70's?

Refugees fleeing the collapsing nationalist government of Vietnam. So get ready for all the Iraqi's wanting asylum from the self-destructing nation of Iraq. Since the Samara boming, only 13days ago, 400 people have died and many more wounded. Refugees are just one more thing, in a long list of things, that we failed to expect. They are not here yet but they will be. Already 4,500 have fled the hottest areas in Bhagdad to Sadre City where they are being looked after by that pillar of sanity Moqtada Sadr (sarcasm). Sunni's are fleeing as well to safer climbs in Iraq. But if the situation deteriorates into a bloodier civil war then we should not expect Iraqis to simply sit at home and wait to die. They will leave. Some will go to Iran, some to Syria (The ones that want to kill Americans) The rest, who merely hate us, will come here and expect, with much justifiction, to be supported by the country that did such a lousy job defending them. Iraq is the big stink that just keeps on stining. So as the wallet of the taxpayer starts to close when the last troops leave Iraq it will be pried back open again to help support all the poor Iraqi's fleeing their dead homeland. Greaat Job Bush! You rock dude! To look for a unified message from Washington here is what you get:

US Ambassador to Iraq:

The US ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, said that "the potential is there" for sectarian violence to become full-blown civil war in Iraq.
While he believed the country had pulled back from the brink, "if another incident [occurs], Iraq is really vulnerable to it at this time, in my judgment."
"We have opened the Pandora's box and the question is, what is the way forward?" Mr Khalilzad said.

General Pace:

said on Sunday that things in Iraq were going "very, very well, from everything you look at".

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lent 1

We are all on the road to Calvery. There is not a single human being that will not, in time, be taken and handed over to death. On this short little jaunt to our physical ruin we must act to better our world. There will be no end credits or large orchestral musical score to the end of our lives. It only matter what we do while we yet live. So today, in the spirit of Jesus who poored out his blood for our salvation, I did my part and poured out a pint to the American Red Cross. They were in dire need of it and I was only too happy to oblige. This does not mean that I hold myself up as an example. I am also a selfish pig, who has not fasted one bit. The truth is that the Red Cross asked me if I would donate and I said yes. It was only while reclinging on the bed, my blood flowing into a bag, that God woke me up to what I was doing and why. We only get a trifling few years to make the world a better, more peaceful, more just, and more spiritually awake place. God will take us to our work even if we don't realise what it is we are doing.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Rev. Phelps another great American...(not)

Here is a self described "old-time" gospel preacher who says, "You can't preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God." He shows up at the funerals of GI's who got killed in Iraq with signs saying "God Hates Your Tears" or "Thank God for IEDs" The reason for this stupid behavior is that Phelps hates gay people and wants to show his hatred of gays by bashing soldiers who fight for a nation that accepts gay people. I really hope Rolling Thunder does a large storm all over Phelps shanty religion so that the rain come and the winds blow and his lousy house of nothing is completely destroyed along with his brood of vipers. However in the spirit of Christ I forgive him for he knows not what he does.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Henry at the table lamp


And so did the Warlike Henry meet the overlusty French at the table lamp and faught them there. Brining ruin upon their entire host, King Henry lost no time in securing the entire desk from the table lamp to the computer monitor. Yet worse fighting was yet to come.  Posted by Picasa